's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. reports say islamic state militants have kidnapped some 90 christian residents in northeastern syria. as british police try to find three teens who they believe ran off to syria, authorities around the world work to counter the allure of islamic state militants.
amnesty international is calling on leaders around the world to do more to protect people in conflict zones. they say armed groups have been targeting civilians. and the operator of the fukushima nuclear plant has disclosed another leak of radioactive water nearly a year after discovering it. american government officials say they'll pay bounty of $3 million for information leading to the arrest of a russian hacker. u.s. media say the reward is the largest ever offered for a cyber crime suspect. fbi agents have put31-year-old evgeni bogachev on its most wanted list for allegedly leading a group that developed a virus and hacked computers to steal from bank accounts online. he is believed to be somewhere in russia. the virus called game over zeus allows hackers to steal account holder i.d.s and pass words. more than 1 million computers around the world have been
infected and more than $100 million have been stolen in the u.s. alone. human rights activists say islamic state militants have stormed villages in northeastern syria. and have taken some 90 christians. they say women and children are among the captives. members of a syrian observatory for human rights say the kidnappings happened tuesday in hasaka province. they say it's not known where the residents were taken. hasaka is largely controlled by kurds. so it is strategically important in the fight against the militants. syrian kurdish forces backed by u.s.-led airstrikes continue to advance into islamic state-held territory. christian and iraqi kurdish forces are taking part. islamic state militants attacked the yazidi minority community last year in iraq. they abducted and enslaved women. they've also threatened to kill christians who refuse to convert to islam. british authorities are working with their counterparts in turkey to try to bring three teenagers back from syria.
they believe the schoolgirls went there to join the islamic state group. thousands of young people from a number of nations have fallen under the militant's spell. it's a problem governments around the world are confronting. more from nhk world's craig dale. >> reporter: spanish police led away one of four people accused of recruiting young muslims to join radical groups such as islamic state. the suspects allegedly targeted women, in particular using social media and videos to win them over. the arrests happened a week after three british schoolgirls caught a flight to turkey on their way to syria, and possibly into the arms of islamic state. and they came a day after authorities in france seized the passports of six french radicals who planned to depart for syria and join the fight. it's yet more proof the islamic state group and other extremist organizations continue to attract people from all over the
world. their strict apocalyptic brand of islam resonates with all types, seemingly moderate muslims, radical and violent muslims, recent converts people opposed to western intervention in the middle east and those just looking for meaning in their lives. >> translator: they take advantage of people's frustrations in life. hatred in society and discould be tent with their domestic environment. >> reporter: intelligence authorities in seoul say a south korean man has joined the ranks of the islamic state group. the first person from that country. and a japanese student in his 20s almost signed up last year after seeing islamic state videos online. but authorities found out and seized his passport. the militants use social media to reach out to these young people. individuals who feel they don't belong or are looking for something more. but many agree the story they sell of an islamic utopia is pure fantasy. >> british teenagers appear to have been radicalized and duped by this poisonous ideology of islamic extremism, while at home on the internet in their
bedrooms. >> reporter: as is often the case family friends and teachers, are the last to know. which seems to be the case for the british schoolgirls. >> there was no indication whatsoever. she was -- she was just herself. there was nothing different about her. there was no changes in her behavior. >> reporter: and so as islamic state militants continue to wage war in iraq and syria, authorities in europe and around the world are trying to counter the virtual threat they pose. >> and in particular to do some further work with the industry partners on the internet to make sure that we can identify and take down extremist content. >> reporter: some analysts though, say this isn't just a problem for police. >> how do we as a society figure out a way to actually stop and prevent our youngsters from going down this path in the first place? how do we stop them from being radicalized? >> reporter: another question, how do you deradicalize people? everyone knows there are no quick fixes here. authorities continue to try to debunk extremist ideology online
and government leaders continue to say young muslims who face poverty and discrimination need opportunities. at the same time they're sticking to a tough approach. stopping people seizing passports, and in some cases, blocking recruits who try to return from syria and iraq to carry on the fight at home. craig dale, nhk world. authorities are blaming members of extremist group boko haram for suicide bombings in two cities in nigeria. they say at least 26 people died in the attacks. police say two attackers detonated a bomb near a bus station in the northern city of kano. the blast killed at least 10 people. >> it seemed that the two bombers came in the bus as passengers from outside the city. moving out of the vehicle after arriving at the moat other part. that is the time they detonated the bomb. >> hours earlier a suicide bomber rushed onto a bus in the northern city of potiscum before
setting off an explosive. at least 16 people have died. no one has claimed responsibility. police suspect members of boko haram were behind both attacks. troops from nigeria and neighboring countries have launched a wave of attacks on the militants. authorities believe the bombings are revenge attacks. gunmen have kidnapped a french woman and her yemeni driver in the capital sanaa. the french foreign ministry has renewed a call urging all its citizens to leave the country as soon as possible. reports from yemen say the woman was on her way to work. she is in the country on a project that promotes development and fighting poverty. no details are available on her captors or why they took her. the security in yemen has been deteriorating. shia muslim insurgents took control of the capital this month. president abu rabe ba mansur hadi put was under house arrest
but late irfled to the south. on tuesday hadi said he'd resign. yemen has seen clashes between rival groups. the country is also home to one of the most active branches of al qaeda. japan and several western countries have temporarily closed their embassies. representatives with the international human rights organization are calling on world leaders to review their response to armed conflicts, and stressing the need to better protect civilians who are caught in the middle. amnesty international officials released their annual report and it shows armed groups committed abuses against civilians in at least 35 countries. they say it includes violence carried out by islamic state militants in iraq and syria. they say the united nations has failed to deal with crisis situations. and they're urging the five permanent members of the u.n. security council to forfeit veto rights in cases of genocide and other mass atrocities. >> if the veto is not used they
can enforce humanitarian assistance, they can bring in arms embargo, they can have asset freezes. >> he says world leaders should impose new restrictions on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas to protect civilians. officials in charge of japan's fukushima daiichi nuclear plant have a controversy on their hands. they've disclosed another leak of radioactive water into the pacific ocean. workers first discovered the problem nearly a year ago but tokyo electric power waited until now to make the information public. nhk world's jun yotsumoto has more. >> translator: we made the announcement now because we have confirmed that the water is considered to be relatively highly radioactive. >> reporter: tepco officials say workers have discovered a pool
of water on the roof of the number 2 reactor building. they say highly radioactive material inside the reactor had made the water contaminated. the officials say the water flowed from the reactor building through a drainage channel and spilled into the pacific ocean. they've admitted that they knew about it as early as last april. tepco executives say there have been no change in the amount of radioactive substances in seawater near the plant. a tepco official told nhk the company has now stopped the leak by putting devices that soak up radioactive substances inside the drainage channel. dealing with toxic water is a constant challenge at the plant. groundwater seeps in to reactor buildings, damaged in the march 2011 disaster. about 350 tons of it accumulates every day.
tepco has set up about 1,000 tanks to store the water. but once they fill up the company will have little space to add more. the company came up with a way to work around that. workers would pump up groundwater, treat it and then discharge it into a port attached to the plant. officials have been trying to convince local fishermen to agree to the proposal. an wednesday, they met with the leaders of the local fisheries to apologize for the latest leak. frnz we are truly very sorry for the worry and trouble we've caused the fishing industry. >> translator: why didn't you tell us honestly about what was going on when you knew about it since last year? we can't trust you anymore. >> reporter: since the disaster four years ago, tepco's executives have said the
building's ties with local communities is one of their biggest priorities. but they've come under harsh criticism for the way tepco has handled contaminated water. people have also lost trust in the company for being slow to share information. now, news about the ratest leak is further undermining people's goodwill, and fuelling a fresh backlash. jun yotsumoto, nhk world. people in japan have learned many lessons from the earthquake and tsunami four years ago that devastated the northeast. now a university in the region is launching a new center to help deepen understanding of global disasters. officials at tohoku university in sendai will open the university next month. it's also when they'll host the u.n. conference on disaster risk reduction. experts tasked with drawing up measures to deal with disasters around the world are often frustrated by lack of data. researchers at the new center
will try to address that. they'll collect and analyze global data on rainfall tsunami and disaster damage and establish international standards for the information. >> translator: we've collected data from the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. this will be important information to estimate or evaluate damage in the future. >> he says he hopes that by collecting data from many areas the center will contribute to a more effective measures. >> four crippled reactors. a constant buildup of contaminated water. radioactive leaks threatening the environment. the people in charge of fukushima daiichi are struggling to control the plant. how will they stop the leaks? and decommission the facilities? get the latest on the aftermath of the nuclear accident with in-depth reports, and special features. "nuclear watch," only on "newsline."
people working for toyota want more pay than what one of the most profitable automakers in the world wants to offer them. ron madison is here with more on this story. ron? >> yeah, workers have pretty successful talks last year gene. their demands got much higher this year, and it seems that management, having a pretty tough time with that. labor leaders facing an uphill battle in japan's ongoing annual wage negotiations. executives add the country's biggest automaker toyota has suggested demands by its union are too side. the two sides held their first round of talks at the firm's headquarters on wednesday. the union leaders asked for an average increase of about $50 in monthly base pay. they secured a rise of about $23 in last year's negotiations. if the two sides cannot narrow their differences over the requested pay rise. >> translator: from what we have heard, many executives understand our wage hike demands to some extent.
>> toyota's union representatives said the gap is wide, and they need more detailed discussions. a toyota executive said after the talks that the requested wage hike is much higher than management expected and is impossible to accept as it is. he said when deciding how the firm's profits should be passed on to workers, management must consider the impact on the nation's economy. many japanese employers will present their responses to union's demands on march 18th. all right let's get a check of the markets now. european stocks seem to be taking a bit of a pause on their recent rallies. british and german indexes on tuesday marked all-time highs. major european benchmarks are looking like this right now. all of them are in negative territory with london and paris both down by double digits. frankfurt is down just a touch at this hour. earlier in asia investors cheered on by fed chair janet yellen's testimony before congress. she indicated the fed would not be rushing in to an early interest rate hike. sydney closed at a seven-year
high while jakarta climbed to an all-time high. here in tokyo the nikkei and the shanghai composite were both pulled down by profit taking. moving on to currencies the dollar is trading lower against its major peers as the prospects for an early rate hike diminished in the u.s. dollar/yen is at roughly 118.75. out euro has been pretty well supported after eurozone finance ministers approved greece's reform plan late tuesday. meanwhile the australian dollar jumped to a one-month high against the greenback. that's after china's manufacturing data for february beat market expectations. china is of course australia's biggest trading partner. well officials at the tokyo stock exchange will be opening a new market for trading funds that specialize in infrastructure development as early as april. such markets are already in operation in the united states australia, as well as other countries. now this market will be aimed at funds that invest in projects such as renewable power generating plants and public facilities like airports and railways. investors will share the profits
from the projects. tse officials plan to establish rules for the new market. they hope to begin listing the funds by the end of this year. leading japanese restaurants and fast food chains suffered lower sales again through january. a food safety scandal surrounding mcdonald's japan was a major factor behind the slump. officials at the japan food service association say last month's sales were down 5% from a year before. that's a year-on-year drop for the second straight month. mcdonald's japan reported a fall of nearly 40%. this followed the discovery of various foreign objects in some of the chain's meals. the plunge drove down total sales at fast food chains by double digits more than 11%, in fact. the rest of the food industry performed a bit better with four out of six sectors showing larger increases than in december. family-style restaurants posted a rise of 3%. coffee shop chains saw sale goes up 2.4%. analysts at the negotiation say
a man wielding a shotgun killed three people at a convenience store in south korea. police believe he then killed himself. the man entered the store in the city of sejong in the morning and started shooting. then he set the store on fire and fled. police later found the body of a man near a river. they believe he was the shooter. officers described the man as a 48-year-old resident. media reports say the man had been in a dispute with one of the victims. that man was in a relationship with the woman who owns the store. her father and brother also died in the shooting. south korean authorities strictly regulate firearms and gun crimes are rare. still observers say the shooting may spark a fresh debate about gun control. south korea's president is parking the second anniversary of her inauguration but park geun-hye has little to celebrate as she grapples with a slump in public support.
>> translator: we have been trying to lay the foundations of economic and political reforms. now we have to start laying the bricks to build on it. >> park once enjoyed an approval rating of more than 60%. she won praise for her diplomatic work, including visits to the united states and china. but support fell sharply after a ferry disaster last april. park and her government came under fire for their handling of the incident. people are complaining that income inequality is growing and there aren't enough jobs for young people. her support rate fell below 30%. >> translator: she's too stiff. she should be more flexible. >> translator: i supported her because she's a woman. i once believed she could change our country. >> the president has been trying to inject new life into her
administration. she nominated a new prime minister and last week replaced her chief of staff. park's low ratings could hurt efforts to build ties with japan. she's likely to find it more difficult to be flexible in dealing with issues dividing the two countries. the top diplomats of the u.s. and japan are planning to sit down next month to discuss ways they can work together on common challenges. u.s. secretary of state john kerry is expected to fly to japan for talks with japanese foreign minister fumio kishida. kishida and kerry are expected to confirm that their countries will push on with a review of the japan/u.s. defense cooperation guidelines. kishida is expected to tell kerry how japan has stepped up its anti-terrorism measures after islamic state militants killed two japanese hostages. and they're expected to discuss speeding up negotiations on the trans-pacific partnership free trade agreement. japanese authorities hope kerry's visit will lay the groundwork for prime minister shinzo abe to visit the u.s. in the next few months.
a wide swath of the u.s. is still shivering in freezing temperatures. our meteorologist saki mori joins us for the latest. sayaka? >> yes gene the coldest air of the season is still blanketing many parts of eastern canada and the united states. it's life-threatening level, and, in fact 85% of the great lakes are frozen. and you can see several icicles hanging from the roofs. it's like an ice curtain in boston. the cold air is also blanketing the southern areas and eastern areas of the united states. take a look at some video to show you how cold it is in the u.s. commuters across the u.s. south faced icy traveling conditions on tuesday. snow and ice blanketed roads, turning highways into parking lots. in dallas people worked to
secure cables to a tractor trailer that slid off a snow covered bridge. many roads were untreated in north carolina where a storm came to a surprise. and in atlanta a light layer of wintry mix sent one car spinning across the highway, slamming into the side of another vehicle, and these are the area where we usually see warm conditions, or mild conditions even in winter. and this is your wednesday outlook. you can see a wide swath of wintry precipitation, frozen precipitation is likely. freezing rain across areas shaded in purple from the atlanta area into the north of louisiana and then to the north, heavy snowfall probably up to 20 centimeters likely from this area, and then there are two spots of heavy snow for the northern areas. and you can see precipitation, snow or ice across the united states. temperatures actually not too bad on wednesday across the east. 2 degrees in new york and 3 degrees in washington, d.c.
but, cold weather will come back on thursday. take a look at these numbers. new york down to minus 4 on thursday, and then continuing into your friday. but as we go in to early next week temperatures will slightly moderate, and getting back to more average levels by your monday. so bear the cold this week. now across the southern hemisphere, it's the rainy season for peru bolivia, and western parts of brazil. many floods have been reported. i want to take you to acre state to show you the flooding situation. heavy rainfall has caused serious problems in western brazil. 1200 families have been displaced because of severe flooding along the acre river as of tuesday. hundreds of police and emergency crews have been sent to the area to help more than 4,000 people who are affected. the rain set up in the northern portions of south america have led to issues into bolivia, as well as peru. now, because of the rainy season, more rain is expected for the next three days at
least. up to 150 millimeters of rain is likely for the coastal locations, enough to cause more flooding and usually the rainy season ends in march. so the risk of flooding continues to rise. now across china, there are two systems to talk about. one here is a rainmaker. right now affecting the yangtze river basin with heavy rain. especially in jejing province. that will move into western japan as well as central japan by thursday and then this system is now affecting north korea and locations in china. you could be seeing up to 10 centimeters of snow within the next 24 hours. that will be spreading into southeastern parts of russia. and temperatures for thursday are solid, down to 3 degrees in seoul, and in tokyo 11 degrees the average temperatures are on the menu for us and 32 manila and rainy weather in bangkok with scorching conditions. all right. up next your three-day forecast.